Eight piece Scottish band Lights Out By Nine have been plying their blend
of soul and blues for a few years now. After starting out playing soul
standards, they soon graduated to writing and recording their own material.
Led by singer/guitarist Al Hughes, who wrote all the songs on "Good Morning
Mr Universe" which seems them maintaining the standards set by their
previous album "Moving On".
Things get off to a cracking start with the uptempo "Feel Like Robert
Johnson (Part 1)" setting the tone for what is to follow. The three piece
horn section belong to the less is more school, always knowing exactly what
to play and when. As an ensemble this ranges from punctuating the chorus on
"Friends Of Mine" to swinging out on songs like "Nothing But The Blues";
individually it makes for classy moments such as the Spanish-sounding muted
trumpet on "Bunny's Blue Tango", and excellent trombone and sax solos on
the rock'n'roll of "Some Day Baby".
A soulful feel permeates most of LOBN's work, although "Bad News Blues"
shows that they are equally comfortable with more rocky material. They also
stir a bit of jazz into the mix on "Where White Men Sing The Blues" before
closing out in grand style with "Feels Like Rain". This is LOBN doing what
they do best: full on horns in the intro, all the band in perfect sync, Al
Hughes in great voice, and a terrific hook line. It all adds up to one of
the best songs of the year and makes a great way to bring the curtain down
on a very good album.
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